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On these broad spots of trampled ground,
Perchance the rustics danced such round

As Teniers loved to draw;
And where the earth seems scorch'd by flame,
To dress the homely feast they came,
And toild the kerchief'd village dame

Around her fire of straw."

Death hover'd o'er the maddening rout,
And, in the thrilling battle-shout,
Sent for the bloody banquet out

A summons of his own.
Through rolling smoke the Demon's eye
Could well each destined guest espy,
Well could his ear in ecstasy

Distinguish every tone
That fill'd the chorus of the fray-
From cannon-roar and trumpet-bray,
From charging squadrons' wild hurra,
From the wild clang that mark'd their way,-

Down to the dying groan, And the last sob of life's decay,

When breath was all but flown.

V.

So deem'st thou-so each mortal deems,
Of that which is from that which seems :-

But other harvest here,
Than that which peasant's scythe demands,
Was gather'd in by sterner hands,

With bayonet, blade, and spear.
No vulgar crop was theirs to reap,
No stinted harvest thin and cheap !
Heroes before each fatal sweep

Fell thick as ripen'd grain ;
And ere the darkening of the day,
Piled high as autumn shocks, there lay
The ghastly harvest of the fray,

The corpses of the slain.”

VI. Ay, look again—that line, so black And trampled, marks the bivouac, Yon deep-graved ruts the artillery's track,

So often lost and won;
And close beside, the harden'd mud
Still shows where, fetlock-deep in blood,
The fierce dragoon, through battle's flood,

Dash'd the hot' war-horse on.
These spots of excavation tell
The ravage of the bursting shell-
And feel'st thou not the tainted steam,
That reeks against the sultry beam,

From yonder trenched mound?
The pestilential fumes declare
That Carnage has replenish'd there

Her garner-house profound.

VIII.
Feast on, stern foe of mortal life,
Feast on!—but think not that a strife,
With such promiscuous carnage rife,

Protracted space may last ;
The deadly tug of war at length
Must limits find in human strength,

And cease when these are past. Vain hope !—that morn's o'erclouded sun Heard the wild shout of fight begun

Ere he attain'd his height, And through the war-smoke, volumed high, Still peals that unremitted cry,

Though now he stoops to night.
For ten long hours of doubt and dread,
Fresh succors from the extended head
Of either hill the contest sed;

Still down the slope they drew,
The charge of columns paused not,
Nor ceased the storm of shell and shot;

For all that war could do
Of skill and force was proved that day,
And turn'd not yet the doubtful fray

On bloody Waterloo.

VII. Far other harvest-home and feast, Than claims the boor from scythe released,

On these scorch'd fields were known;

IX.
Pale Brussels! then what thoughts were thine,"
When ceaseless from the distant line

Continued thunders came !
Each burgher held his breath, to hear

To mark how gentle Nature still pursued Her quiet course, as if she took no care For what her noblest work had suffer'd there.

And friend and foe, within the general tomb.

Equal had been their lot; one fatal day For all, . . one labor, . . and one place of rest They found within their common parent's breast.

"The pears had ripen'd on the garden wall;

Those leaves which on the autumnal earth were spread,
The trees, though pierced and scared with many a ball,

Had only in their natural season shed;
Flowers were in seed, whose buds to swell began
When such wild havoc bere was made by man."

SOUTHEY. 1 "Earth had received into her silent womb

Her slaughter'd creatures ; horse and man they lay,

“ The passing seasons had not yet effaced

The stamp of numerous hoofs impress'd by force
Of cavalry, whose path might still be traced.

Yet Nature every where resumed her course ;
Low pansies to the sun their purple gave,
And the soft poppy blossom’d on the grave.”

SOUTHEY. ? See Appendix, Note B.

These forerunners of havoc near,

Of rapine and of flame. What ghastly sights were thine to meet, When rolling through thy stately street, The wounded show'd their mangled plights In token of the unfinish'd fight, And from each anguish-laden wain The blood-drops laid thy dust like rain !" How often in the distant drum Heard'st thou the fell Invader come, While Ruin, shouting to his band, Shook high her torch and gory brand ! Cheer thee, fair Cityl From yon stand, Impatient, still his outstretch'd hand

Points to his prey in vain, While maddening in his eager mood, And all unwont to be withstood,

He fires the fight again.

On came the whirlwind-steel-gleams broke Like lightning through the rolling smoke;

The war was waked anew, Three hundred cannon-mouths roar'd loud, And from their throats, with flash and cloud,

Their showers of iron threw. Beneath their fire, in full career, Rush'd on the ponderous cuirassier, The lancer couch'd his ruthless spear, And hurrying as to havoc near,

The cohorts' eagles flew. In one dark torrent, broad and strong, The advancing onset roll'd along, Forth harbinger'd by fierce acclaim, That, from the shroud of smoke and flame, Peald wildly the imperial name.

X. “ On! On!” was still his stern exclaim ; “ Confront the battery's jaws of flame !

Rush on the levell’d gun!
My steel-clad cuirassiers, advance !
Each Hulan forward with his lance,
My Guard-my Chosen-charge for France,

France and Napoleon !"
Loud answer'd their acclaiming shout,
Greeting the mandate which sent out
Their bravest and their best to dare
The fate their leader shunn'd to share.
But He, his country's sword and shield,
Still in the battle-front reveald,
Where danger fiercest swept the field,

Came like a beam of light, In action prompt, in sentence brief“ Soldiers, stand firm," exclaim'd the Chief,

“ England shall tell the fight 199

XII.
But on the British heart were lost
The terrors of the charging host ;
For not an eye the storm that view'd
Changed its proud glance of fortitude,
Nor was one forward footstep staid,
As dropp'd the dying and the dead."
Fast as their ranks the thunders tear,
Fast they renew'd each serried square ;
And on the wounded and the slain
Closed their diminish'd files again,
Till from their line scarce spears lengths three,
Emerging from the smoke they see
Helmet, and plume, and panoply,

Then waked their fire at once!
Each musketeer's revolving knell,
As fast, as regularly fell,
As when they practise to display
Their discipline on festal day.

Then down went helm and lance,
Down were the eagle banners sent,
Down reeling steeds and riders went,
Corslets were pierced, and

pennons rent; And, to augment the fray, Wheel'd full against their staggering flanks,

XI. On came the whirlwind-like the last But fiercest sweep of tempest-blast

1 MS.--"Harbingers."
2 MS.- Streaming."
3 MS.--"Bloody plight."
4 “ Within those walls there linger'd at that hour,

Many a brave soldier on the bed of pain,
Whom aid of human art should ne'er restore

To see his country and his friends again ;
And many a victim of that fell debate,

Whose life yet waver'd in the scales of fate. “ Others in wagons borne abroad I saw,

Albeit recovering, still a mournful sight;
Langaid and helpless, some were stretch'd on straw,

Some more advanced, sustain'd themselves upright,
And with bold eye and careless front, methought,
Seem'd to set wounds and death again at naught.

Was festering, and along the crowded ways,

Hour after hour was heard the incessant sound
Of wheels, which o'er the rough and stony road

Convey'd their living agonizing load !
“ Hearts little to the melting mood inclined,

Grew sick to see their sufferings; and the thought Still comes with horror to the shuddering mind

Of those sad days, when Belgian ears were taught The British soldier's cry, half groan, half

prayer, Breathed when his pain is more than he can bear."

SOUTHEY. 6 MS.

"his stern exclaim;
Where fails the sword make way by flame !
Recoil not from the cannon's aim ;

Confront them and they're won.'" See Appendix, Note C. Ibid. Note D. 7 Ibid. Note E. 8 MS.-"Nor was one forward footstep stopp'd,

Though close beside a comrade dropp'd."

" What had it been, then, in the recent days Of that great triumph, when the open wound

The English horsemen’s foaming ranks

Forced their resistless way.
Then to the musket-knell succeeds
The clash of swords—the neigh of steeds-
As plies the smith his clanging trade,'
Against the cuirass rang the blade ;*
And while amid their close array
The well-served cannon rent their way,'
And while amid their scatter'd band
Raged the fierce rider's bloody brand,
Recoil'd in common rout and fear,
Lancer and guard and cuirassier,
Horsemen and foot-a mingled host,
Their leaders fall'n, their standards lost.

Or dost thou turn thine eye
Where coming squadrons gleam afar,
And fresher thunders wake the war,

And other standards fly!
Think not that in yon columns, file
Thy conquering troops from distant Dyle-

Is Blucher yet unknown?
Or dwells not in thy memory still
(Heard frequent in thine hour of ill),
What notes of hate and vengeance thrill

In Prussia's trumpet tone 19
What yet remains l_shall it be thine
To head the relics of thine

In one dread effort more -
The Roman lore thy leisure loved,"
And thou canst tell what fortune proved

That Chieftain, who, of yore,
Ambition's dizzy paths essay'd,
And with the gladiators' aid

For empire enterprised -
He stood the cast his rashness play'd,
Left not the victims he had made,
Dug his red grave with his own blade
And on the field he lost was laid,

Abhorr'd—but not despised."

XIII.
Then, WELLINGTON! thy piercing eye
This crisis caught of destiny-

The British host had stood
That morn 'gainst charge of sword and lance
As their own ocean rocks hold stance,
But when thy voice had said, “ Advance !"

They were their ocean's flood. -
O Thou, whose inauspicious aim
Hath wrought thy host this hour of shame,
Think'st thou thy broken bands will bide
The terrors of yon rushing tide ?
Or will thy chosen brook to feel
The British shock of levelld steel,

XIV.
But if revolves thy fainter thought
On safety--howsoever bought,-

Sworn al

}

The

1 See Appendix, Note F.

sages of Mr. Scott's present work, to the compositions of Lord 2“I heard the broadswords' deadly clang,

Byron, and particularly his Lordship's Ode to Bonaparte ; and As if an hundred anvils rang!" Lady of the Lake. we think that whoever perases The Field of Waterloo,' with 3 MS." Beneath that storm, in full career,

that Ode in his recollection, will be struck with this new me Rush'd on the ponderous cuirassier,

semblance. We allude principally to such passages as that

which begins, The lancer come withis field {spear

,

* The Roman lore thy leisure loved,' &c. each

and to such lines as, to do or die;

• Now, seest thou aught in this loved scene, But not an instant would they bear

Can tell of that which late hath been ?' thunders

or,
{of each serried square,

So deem'st thou-so each mortal deems,
vollies
They halt, they turn, they fly!

Of that which is, from that which seems ;'
Not even their chosen brook to feel

lines, by the way, of which we cannot express any very great The British shock of levell’d steel ;

admiration. This sort of influence, however, over even the Enough that through their close array

principal writers of the day (whether they are conscious of the The well-plied cannon tore their way;

influence or not), is one of the surest tests of genius, and one Enough that 'mid their broken band

of the proudest tributes which it receives."- Monthly Rericu. The horsemen plied the bloody brand,

8" When the engagement was ended, it evidently appeared Recoil'd," &c.

with what undaunted spirit and resolution Catiline's army had 4 "The cuirassiers continued their dreadful onset, and rode been fired; for the body of every one was found on that very up to the squares in the full confidence, apparently, of sweep- spot which, during the battle, be had occupied; those only ering every thing before the impetuosity of their charge. Their cepted who were forced from their posts by the Prætorian co onset and reception was like a furious ocean pouring itself hort; and even they, though they fell a little out of their against a chain of insulated rocks. The British square stood ranks, were all wounded before. Catiline himself was found, unmoved, and never gave fire until the cavalry were within far from his own men, amidst the dead bodies of the enemy, ten yards, when men rolled one way, horses galloped another, breathing a little, with an air of that fierceness still in his face and the cuirassiers were in every instance driven back."-Life which he had when alive. Finally, in all his army there was of Bonaparte, vol. ix. p. 12.

not so much as one free citizen taken prisoner, either in the en5 See Appendix, Note G.

gagement or in flight; for they spared their own lives as little 6 MS.-" Or can thy memory fail to quote,

as those of the enemy. The army of the republic obtained the Heard to thy cost, the vengeful note

victory, indeed, but it was neither a cheap nor a joyful one, for Of Prussia's trumpet tone ?"

their bravest men were either slain in battle or dangerously 7" We observe a certain degree of similitude in some pas- wounded. As there were many, too, who went to view the

Then turn thy fearful rein and ride,
Though twice ten thousand men have died

On this eventful day,
To gild the military fame
Which thou, for life, in traffic tame

Wilt barter thus away.
Shall future ages tell this tale
Of inconsistence faint and frail ?
And art thou He of Lodi's bridge,
Marengo's field, and Wagram's ridge!

Or is thy soul like mountain-tide,
That, swellid by winter storm and

shower,
Rolls down in turbulence of power,

A torrent fierce and wide ;
Reft of these aids, a rill obscure,
Shrinking unnoticed, mean and poor,

Whose channel shows display'd
The wrecks of its impetuous course,
But not one symptom of the force

By which these wrecks were made!

XVI.
List-frequent to the hurrying rout,
The stern pursuers' vengeful shout
Tells, that upon their broken rear
Rages the Prussian's bloody spear.

So fell a shriek was none,
When Beresina's icy flood
Redden'd and thaw'd with flame and blood,
And, pressing on thy desperate way,
Raised oft and long their wild hurra,

The children of the Don.
Thine ear no yell of horror cleft
So ominous, when, all bereft
Of aid, the valiant Polack left-
Ay, left by thee-found soldier's graves
In Leipsic's corpse-encumber'd wave.
Fate, in those various perils past,
Reserved thee still some future cast;
On the dread die thou now hast thrown,
Hangs not a single field alone,
Nor one campaign-thy martial fame,
Thy empire, dynasty, and name,

Have felt the final stroke;
And now, o'er thy devoted head,
The last stern vial's wrath is shed,

The last dread seal is broke.

XV. Spur on thy way !--since now thine ear Has brook'd thy veterans' wish to hear,

Who, as thy flight they eyed, Exclaim'd, -while tears of anguish came, Wrung forth by pride, and rage,

and shame,

“O, that he had but died !"! But yet, to sum this hour of ill, Look, ere thou leavest the fatal hill,

Back on yon broken ranks-Upon whose wild confusion gleams The moon, as on the troubled streams

When rivers break their banks,
And, to the ruin'd peasant's eye,
Objects half seen roll swiftly by,

Down the red current hurl'd
So mingle banner, wain, and gun,
Where the tumultuous flight rolls on
Of warriors, who, when morn begun,

Defied a banded world.

XVII. Since live thou wilt-refuse not now Before these demagogues to bow, Late objects of thy scorn and hate, Who shall thy once imperial fate Make wordy theme of vain debate.Or shall we say, thou stoop’st less low In seeking refuge from the foe, Against whose heart, in prosperous life, Thine hand hath ever held the knife ?

Such homage hath been paid
By Roman and by Grecian voice,
And there were honor in the choice,

If it were freely made.
Then safely come—in one so low,-
So lost,-we cannot own a foe;

field, either out of curiosity or a desire of plunder, in tuming over the dead bodies, some found a friend, some a relation, and some a guest ; others there were likewise who discovered their enemies ; so that, through the whole army, there appeared a mixture of gladness and sorrow, joy and mourning."-SALLUST. 1 The MS. adds,

“ That pang survived, refuse not then

To humble thee before the men,
Late objects of thy scorn and hate,
Who shall thy once imperial fate
Make wordy theme of vain debate,

And chaffer for thy crown;
As usurers wont, who sack the all
Of the fool-hardy prodigal,
When on the giddy dice's fall

His latest hope has flown.
But yet, to sum," &c.

2 MS.-"Where in one tide of terror run,

The warriors that, when morn begun." 3 MS." So ominous a shriek was none,

Not even when Beresina's flood

Was thawed by streams of tepid blood." 4 For an account of the death of Poniatowski at Leipsic, see Sir Walter Scott's Life of Bonaparte, vol. vii. p. 401. 5 MS." Not such were heard, when, all bereft

Of aid, the valiant Polack left

Ay, left by thee--found gallant grave." 8" I who with faith unshaken from the first,

Even when the tyrant seem'd to touch the skies,
Had look'd to see the high-blown bubble burst,

And for a fall conspicuous as his rise,
Even in that faith had look'd not for defeat
So swift, so overwhelming, so complete.”

SOUTHEY

And, such was rightful Heaven's decree, Ne'er sheathed unless with victory!"

Though dear experience bid us end,
In thee we ne'er can hail a friend.
Come, howsoe'er-but do not hide
Close in thy heart that germ of pride,
Erewhile, by gifted bard espied,'

That “yet imperial hope , "
Think not that for a fresh rebound,
To raise ambition from the ground,

We yield thee means or scope.
In safety come—but ne'er again
Hold type of independent reign;

No islet calls thee lord,
We leave thee no confederate band,
No symbol of thy lost command,
To be a dagger in the hand

From which we wrench'd the sword.

XVIIL
Yet, even in yon sequester'd spot,
May worthier conquest be thy lot

Than yet thy life has known;
Conquest, unbought by blood or harm,
That needs nor foreign aid nor arm,

A triumph all thine own. Such waits thee when thou shalt control Those passions wild, that stubborn soul,

That marr'd thy prosperous scene :Hear this--from no unmoved heart, Which sighs, comparing what THOU ART

With what thou MIGHT'ST HAVE BEEN !

XX. Look forth, once more, with soften'd heart, Ere from the field of fame we part;' Triumph and Sorrow border near, And joy oft melts into a tear. Alas! what links of love that morn Has War's rude hand asunder torn! For ne'er was field so sternly fought, And ne'er was conquest dearer bought. Here piled in common slaughter sleep

Those whom affection long shall weep: Here rests the sire, that ne'er shall strain His orphans to his heart again; The son, whom, on his native shore, The parent's voice shall bless no more ; The bridegroom, who has hardly press'd His blushing consort to his breast ; The husband, whom through many a year Long love and mutual faith endear. Thou canst not name one tender tie, But here dissolved its relics lie! 0! when thou see'st some mourner's veil Shroud her thin form and visage pale, Or mark'st the Mątron's bursting tears Stream when the stricken drum she hears; Or see'st how manlier grief, suppress’d, Is laboring in a father's breast,With no enquiry vain pursue The cause, but think on Waterloo!

XIX. Thou, too, whose deeds of fame renew'd Bankrupt a nation's gratitude, To thine own noble heart must owe More than the meed she can bestow. For not a people's just acclaim, Not the full hail of Europe's fame, Thy Prince's smiles, thy State's decree, The ducal rank, the garter'd knee, Not these such pure delight afford As that, when hanging up thy sword, Well may'st thou think, “ This honest steel Was ever drawn for public weal;

XXI. Period of honor as of woes, What bright careers 'twas thine to close ! Mark'd on thy roll of blood what names To Briton's memory, and to Fame's, Laid there their last immortal claims! Thou saw'st in seas of gore expire Redoubted Picton's soul of firem Saw'st in the mingled carnage lie All that of PONSONBY could dieDE LANCEY change Love's bridal-wreath,

1 MS.

- but do not hide
Once more that secret germ of pride,

Which erst yon gifted bard espied.” 9 "The Desolater desolate!

The Victor overthrown!
The Arbiter of others' fate

A Suppliant for his own!
Is it some yet imperial hope,
That with such change can calmly cope ?

Or dread of death alone ?
To die a prince-or live a slave-
Thy choice is most ignobly brave ?"

Byron's Ode to Napoleon. 3 • 'Tis done-but yesterday a King!

And arm'd with Kings to strive

And now thou art a nameless thing;

So abject-yet alive!
Is this the man of thousand thrones,
Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones,

And can he thus survive ?
Since he, miscall'd the Morning Star,
Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far."

Byron's Ode to Napoleon 4“We left the field of battle in such mood

As human hearts from thence should bear away ; And, musing thus, our purposed route pursued,

Which still through scenes of recent bloodshed lay Where Prussia late, with strong and stern delight, Hung on her fated foes to persecute their flight."

SOUTHEY.

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